Fortunes can change in an instant as Austin Theory learned on Monday night thanks to the divine intervention of Seth Rollins. After weeks of in-fighting among Zelina Vega‘s clients, the tensions finally hit a boiling point on Raw as Angel Garza, and Andrade faced off against Kevin Owens and Apollo Crews.
A mistimed shot by Theory, intended for Crews, ended up landing square against Garza’s jaw instead, ultimately costing Vega’s team the match. Austin Theory tried to apologize but it was to no avail, as Andrade and Garza brutally attacked him before holding him out to Vega who told the young superstar he wasn’t worth her belief in him. Theory was left lying in a heap of steel chairs as Vega took her boys backstage. Still recovering, Austin Theory remained ringside as the penultimate match of the night, Buddy Murphy vs Aleister Black, was set to begin.
It was there that the so-called ‘real superstar’ caught the eye of the Monday Night Messiah himself, Seth Rollins. Earlier in the night, Rollins explained away his seemingly sociopathic actions from the prior week by describing the attack on Rey Mysterio as “unfortunate but necessary” and a “sacrifice for the greater good.” Rollins, in speaking directly to Mysterio, didn’t apologize for what he called a “blessing in disguise,” but rather praised himself. Saying the words that Rollins believed needed to be said, he offered words of “you’re welcome” to Mysterio, insinuating the lucha legend should be thanking him for his actions. According to Rollins’ prophetic words, the attack allowed him to see the light and become the leader he was always meant to be.
That new outlook on leadership was witnessed firsthand as Seth Rollins spotted Austin Theory and seemed enamored with him, staring at him as Murphy wrestled his second match of the night. It began clear early on the focus wasn’t on the match but rather Rollins and Theory as the two locked eyes ringside. The Messiah then extended his gloved hand, symbolic of the dark mission he’s been on, and Theory accepted it, unsure of what to expect. But Rollins didn’t attack, instead, he offered a simple nod. No words were exchanged but none needed to be as the Messiah used unspoken non-verbal cues to execute his order.
— WWE (@WWE) May 19, 2020
Austin Theory didn’t need much convincing. He immediately took to the ring and attacked Black, causing a disqualification as a result. When Black fought back, Rollins again used a nonverbal command that instantly saw Murphy come to Theory’s aid. Rollins just stood there, directing traffic, as his disciples, new and old, seemed all too eager to please their Messiah. With Black beaten down, Rollins embraced Theory, with Murphy looking on, a satisfied smirk on his face.
Moments prior, when Theory first entered the ring, Samoa Joe, who has been sitting on commentary while recovering from his injury, did not mince his words. “This is the danger that I warned everybody about. His rhetoric is infectious. He preys on people like Austin Theory and this is the result.”
Joe has a point as Seth Rollins, a man on a mission to rebuild Monday Night Raw in his image by completing his self-fulfilling prophecy, recruited his first singles wrestler disciple the same way. Following a loss to Aleister Black in his latest attempt to prove himself, a despondent Buddy Murphy remained ringside, distraught, as Big Show, Kevin Owens, and Samoa Joe took on the Authors of Pain and Seth Rollins in a fistfight. The fight was one-sided in favor of Big Show’s trio but then, the Messiah went to work. He saw Murphy sitting there and convinced him to join his trio, that only through the Messiah’s guidance, would Murphy discover his true potential. Buddy Murphy wasn’t as easy to convince as Austin Theory but in the end, aligned with Seth Rollins and his first two early-adopting disciples in AOP. He made the right choice, the Messiah’s choice. As if he ever really had any other option.
The Messiah is manipulative. The Messiah is motivational. The Messiah is maniacal. And like Rollins’ Architect persona, the Messiah is masterful. Acting with psychopathic tendencies, the Messiah has been cold and calculated, willing to sacrifice his own disciples without much care for their well-being. And in Murphy’s case, he’s been more than willing to play the sacrificial lamb, to protect his Messiah at all costs. Whether Rollins believes he’s creating a better environment for Raw or not doesn’t really matter at this point. What matters is that he’s convinced other people to believe in his messianic mission and follow his path, through both his words and his actions.
— Austin Theory (@austintheory1) May 19, 2020
Because it’s not just his rhetoric as Joe pointed out, but his charism. Like all of the world’s most powerful leaders, whether they were heroes or villains, Rollins’ prophetic words and delivery have people ready to eat out of the palm of his hands. After languishing in WWE’s main event scene as a lost, shelled version of himself for the better part of the last year, the Messiah has been a true revelation for Rollins. And it’s opened up an avenue for his disciples, two men who have bright futures ahead of them now that they are under Rollins’ mentorship. Especially for Austin Theory, who seems a natural fit to join Seth Rollins and his cult-like following.
Just 22 years old, Austin Theory is one of WWE‘s blue-chip prospects of which they clearly have big plans for. Starting his wrestling career in 2016, Theory quickly became someone who had the look, the skill, and the wherewithal to make it in pro wrestling. In 2017, he began his career with EVOLVE, where he would later become a huge star winning the championship (which he held for 329 days) and catching the eye of WWE in the process. An unofficial farm system of sorts for NXT, several of the black-and-yellow brand’s top wrestlers found themselves in EVOLVE showcases, many of which were against Austin Theory. Chosen to have the biggest matches with the biggest talents, Theory impressed, and in September 2019, he made his NXT Live event debut.
By December, he was wrestling on NXT TV, with his first match coming against Roderick Strong for the North American Championship. It seemed Theory was going to be a big piece of what NXT did going forward but then the coronavirus hit, leaving several open spots on the Raw and SmackDown rosters. Introduced as a member of Vega’s stable, Austin Theory made his Raw debut on March 24th, just six months after his first NXT event. Interestingly enough, it was in a tag team match with Angel Garza and Seth Rollins.
In the biblical story of Jesus Christ as observed by the Christian faith tradition, of which Rollins’ character is somewhat based, the Messiah finds his disciples among the downtrodden and despairing. He reaches out to those in need in order to help show them the way, much like Rollins’ did with his well-timed recruitment of a distraught Theory and Murphy. Both men needed a lifeline and the Messiah, with one outstretched black-gloved hand was able to offer that.
One month after his debut, Austin Theory has traded in his relationship with Zelina Vega for one with Seth Rollins, which should end up more beneficial in the long haul. With Becky Lynch taking time off to be a mom, Rollins may be Raw’s biggest star and biggest name at this point. The rub he’ll provide to Theory and Murphy just by nature of association with him is sure to do wonders for these two young stars. Already, it seems that Theory could well be next in line after Apollo Crews, for a shot at Andrade’s United States Championship providing him his first marquee feud on Raw. Certainly, the Messiah would approve of gold returning to his stable.
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